If you recognize any of the following early signs in yourself or a loved one, it is important to speak with your doctor. You can then work together to find out what is causing your symptoms, including obtaining some tests or possibly finding a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating dementia:
- Forgetfulness that hinders your ability to get through the day: This can include asking about the same thing repeatedly, especially if it was just learned; this is different from sometimes forgetting names or dates and remembering them at a later time
- Growing challenges in planning or solving problems: This might include being unable to concentrate, focus, or follow directions. The difficulties are ongoing, and not just occasional errors. They might occur, for example, when balancing a checkbook, paying the bills or following a familiar recipe
- Difficulty completing tasks that used to be easy: Examples include getting lost while driving on a familiar route or needing help to use the settings on a microwave which were used independently before
- Confusion about what season it is, or the passage of time: Forgetting the date, time and location can occur; this is different from temporarily thinking it is Wednesday when it is Thursday
- New problems with words, speaking or writing to the point that joining a conversation is difficult: This is different from sometimes having trouble finding the “right” word.
Read more about dementia: Dementia: A Group of Symptoms